Category: Punjabiat

Posts related to Punjabiat

aj da Punjab

Called home and was talking to father saab. He told about a recent incident in our village. A husband & wife worked in the High School there. Husband retired sometime ago and he got few lakhs as his full & final amount. Their son who is a drug addict was demanding that money from his father. He said no to any money as he needed to get the two girls married off with that money. One day his son beat him up and hit him on the head. Probably due to that he lost his mental balance and one day committed suicide by jumping in front of the train. Villagers called the boy and first he denied to come and then came well dressed wearing black goggles. While giving the statement to Police he said “I am feeling stressed now, will record my statement after 2-3 days”.

This is the reality of Punjab today.

Demystifying Punjabi stereotypes – 2

Read Part 1 – Punjab is a very rich state !


 Punjabi music is all about beats !

Thankfully it is not. What you get to see is Bollywood’s use (use as exploiting something; i say use because Bollywood includes Punjabi songs in a movie to make the album hit not to promote Punjabi music) of Punjabi music. Far away from that adulterated stuff you get to hear there exists some beautiful Punjabi music of so many different genres including dance numbers, sad songs, spiritual poetry and so on.

Break the stereotype, go explore and enjoy some beautiful music. A whole new world awaits you.

Demystifying Punjabi stereotypes – 1

Most of the stuff that non Punjabi’s know about us Punjabis is typical stereotyped stuff shown in Bollywood movies and Punjabi songs. Most of it is some non-sense wrapped around “balle balle” as if dancing is what Punjabi’s do all the time. So thought about doing some posts telling the reality instead of what is being shown on small or big screen. How it actually started was that once I drafted a post explaining that how in Punjab there live people of all religions, not only Sikhs as a lot of non-Punjabi’s seem to think. But this post remained in the draft for months. Then last week a colleague in office was talking about something similar. From there an idea struck me to write about multiple topics related to Punjabi stereotypes. In each post I will try to talk about one topic (or more if they are very closely related). The posts are not going to be very very detailed but would briefly talk about the subject. You can add your criticism/views/corrections of any facts in the comments section. Some of the posts might be ridiculously short but length isn’t really the important thing here. Important is to make the point about some issue that we are seeing around us.

So here we go with the very first post in this series. In this the issue I am going to talk about is:


Punjab is a very rich state


That is what a lot of people outside Punjab think courtesy Punjab’s rich past and what is being shown in movies, songs etc. But the reality is that it used to be rich but it is not anymore. These days economy is in shambles. State is under a debt of Rs 1 lakh crore. There is no money to pay salaries to the Govt. employees and to make both ends meet Govt. properties, lands are being sold. There are hardly any new Govt. jobs. Not much is happening in the name of industrial growth so there are not many jobs in private sector too. Menace of drugs is posing the most serious danger the state has ever seen. According to some reports almost 60-70% or more of the youth is addicted to some kind of drug or alcohol. There are villages where each family has lost one of more of the family members to some kind of drug addiction.

Agriculture has failed. Landlords might be doing fine but farmers with few acres of land can hardly make both ends meet. Many of the small farmers have taken loans to the tune of lakhs from banks and because of poor agricultural growth are not able to pay it back. Not being able to support their families they are taking the suicide route to end their lives. There are many families where the only earning members have committed suicides and the debt ridden families are left to struggle with their lives.


With all this going on one can pretty much understand how rich Punjab these days is !


Read part 2 – Punjabi music is all about beats !

Gurdas Maan–Roti–music review and more

I am writing a music review of an album after really really long time. The last one I wrote was on Mar 3, 2009 for Collaborations 2. I am not really the one who was eagerly waiting for this album but actually this post is a mix of two posts; ie music review of this album and some in general stuff that I have been thinking about Gurdas Maan’s performance in the last few years. I am sorry if this post sounds like a too critical one. So lets get going with the music review first.

Overall this album is a disappointment especially in terms of music. If we exaggerate it a little disaster won’t really be an overstatement. I don’t understand the reason why he left Jaidev Kumar. The kind of stuff that Gurdas Maan sings Jaidev Kumar is the only music director who can compose music for his songs. Earlier it was Charanjit Ahuja and Amar Haldipur who did some brilliant stuff for few of his albums. But this time he switched to Jatinder Shah and that seems to have resulted in almost a disaster. Lets talk about the album song by song:

1) Roti : Very nice lyrics. The live performance has been really good in most of his shows. But in this album it sounds like a blunder. Bad music and the almost stupid video makes it a bad one. There is nothing, really nothing in the video except that it has been filmed on Gurdas Maan. With such beautiful lyrics they could have made an amazing video showing daily lives of people and passing on a beautiful message.

2) Pind di hawa : Before the album came out I was expecting this one to be one of the best songs. I watched few of the videos from his live performances of this song. It has that original GM touch to it. Reminds me of mudja ve mudja beeba The album version also sounds ok. Music is just fine here if not brilliant.

3) Sajna tainu tak nahi rajna : Again a good one. Music again is also fine for this one.

4) Raati chann naal gallan karke : I could never understand what this song is all about. Sounded like a filler to me. It is so long that never seems to end. I played it almost 4-5 times and it never caught my attention.

5) Je laayi si tan nibhauni : Again a nice track but stupid kind of music. Nice beat but too much use of computerized music.

6) Akh mere yaar di : Again nothing much special here. Lyrics are ok types but a loose type composition.

7) Ja chup karke turja : I was expecting it to be a really really good song but it probably turned out to be the biggest disappointment out of all 8 songs. Such amazing lyrics and the live version was equally amazing. GM himself messed it up. We don’t even need to talk about music here. His pronunciation of words is like he is chewing them. I can’t believe such a composition can be spoiled to this extent. DISASTER !

8) Farmaan : So once again a religious song. Fine lyrics. But I think not as brilliant as sarbans daaniya ve. A friend just confirmed what I have been thinking. It looks like an attempt to silence the voices from Sikh circles who are too critical of him.

So overall this album is a serious disappointment especially in the field of music and one video that we have seen. I don’t think people are gonna play it again after an year or so. It would turn out to be just another album. BTW a question for Jatinder Shah : what was the need to edit his voice in many of the songs ? Even a novice won’t do that.

Now lets get down to talk about what has gone wrong about Gurdas Maan. There are few thing that I think are responsible for his (kind of) downfall in last few years:

1) He needs to slow down. Really he needs to slow down. Age is catching up now and he keeps traveling for whole of month. It seems he is running out of content because he has no time to think. He needs to cut down on his tours, give some time to himself and come with some quality content.

2) For music he should get back to Jaidev Kumar. No one can do it better than Jaidev for him.

3) He needs to find a new video director. After Manoj Punj left this world that void hasn’t been filled. Frankly speaking Manjit Maan isn’t a video director. Most of the videos that she has directed are copies of the work that Manoj Punj did. Roti video in itself is a perfect example of lack of creativity.

4) He needs to take his dera connection down to personal level. He has been visiting that place since ever but it was in his personal capacity. He didn’t do a kind of promotion. But since last few years he has been promoting it like anything. Given the damage that deras have done to Punjab he should be careful while doing so. In his personal capacity he can go wherever he wants but promoting this isn’t really expected from him. Being the biggest ambassador of Punjabiat he has some responsibility on his shoulders which he should be careful about. But it seems that that is not going to happen. As one of my friend and old GM fan puts it that it is a win-win situation for both the parties. Dera gets a lot of GM followers as visitors and a lot of dera visitors have become GM fans. These days half of what he says is somehow linked to what happens in dera and what sain ji said. I find that irritating to say the least and I am sure a lot of old, genuine fans do the same.

So guys that is what I thought after listening to this album. Do leave your comments !

Survival of a language

This topic has been in my mind since long but never got to write about it. And it is not only about Punjabi language. It applies to any of the regional languages. And here we are talking about the people who live away from their native regions.

I have lived in Delhi for six years. There is a sizable Punjabi population in Delhi and Punjabi has got the second language status. But one thing that is very much noticeable is that generally the people you see speaking Punjabi are all above 40 years of age. No one from the newer generation speaks Punjabi. In fact the reality is that can’t really speak even if they want to. Leave few broken sentences that they might be able to construct and speak.

This is about speaking. If we talk about reading and writing the situation is even worse. No one from the new generation would be able to do that because they were not taught Punjabi in schools and at home their parents didn’t communicate with them in Punjabi .

Question here is that in such a scenario how does a language survive ? When you can’t read, write or speak a language how you can identify yourself by that ? Isn’t it the slow death of our regional languages ?